PROMINENT actress and trans* identity Laverne Cox has appeared on the latest issue of Time magazine this week, prompting a viral social media response.

Cox, who has received accolades for her work that includes being the first African-American trans woman to have a leading role in a mainstream US television show, is featured under the headline “The Transgender Tipping Point: America’s next civil rights frontier”.

Laverne Cox on the cover of Time magzine

Laverne Cox on the cover of Time magzine

While Cox is best known for her role as Sophia Burset in Orange is the New Black, she is also a public speaker and advocate of trans* issues.

Her appearance on the cover of Time this week , which in time with her birthday, comes a month after fans responded to her omission from the magazine’s annual list of the year’s most influential people.  However, media reports indicate that Time had Cox’s story in the works for “months” prior to the controversy over the annual list.

In her interview with Time, Cox spoke about how trans* people were often misunderstood.

“There’s not just one trans story. There’s not just one trans experience. And I think what they need to understand is that not everybody who is born feels that their gender identity is in alignment with what they’re assigned at birth, based on their genitalia,” she said.

“If someone needs to express their gender in a way that is different, that is okay, and they should not be denied healthcare. They should not be bullied. They don’t deserve to be victims of violence.

“That’s what people need to understand, that it’s okay and that if you are uncomfortable with it, then you need to look at yourself.”

Watch the behind the scenes video of Laverne Cox’s Time magazine photo shoot:

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